It’s Christmas Eve, and I just got home from the “Wonder of Winter Lights” pageant at my church. My partner is out tending to other people’s animals – she works as a pet-sitter, so holidays are her busy time. The house is clean in anticipation of company tomorrow – friends who are also far from family, are too busy to travel, and/or aren’t Christian so don’t have a reason to be with family on a random Tuesday. My dogs and cats are sacked out, so the house is quiet.
When I first get home, whether from work, shopping, or – as tonight – church, I almost always open the computer and check out what’s been posted on Facebook since I last logged on. I check my notifications, read my private messages, and look to see if there are any new likes on the page I help administrate.
Tonight, for some reason, I scrolled through my old profile pictures – I tend to change my image pretty regularly. I went back almost 2 years. Some of them are of me and Jeanne. Some of them are just me. Some of them indicate causes (or teams) I support, or show our pets. And some of them are of Dad. There are a couple of me with Dad. Those are the ones that are making me sad tonight.
I didn’t expect to have a hard time today – I got through Thanksgiving without much problem. As I posted after he died, I had lost him several times over the past few years. He really hadn’t been with us for Christmas – mentally – for several years. So this shouldn’t be all that different. At least, that is what I told myself.
But something about seeing this picture, taken almost 3 years ago, brought tears to my eyes. It was taken at the bowling alley where Jeanne and I were on a league. Dad was visiting for a week or so while mom was on a trip. This was the year that DC got hit with back-to-back snow storms that delayed my flight up there to bring him home with me. I was so relieved to have him with me at that point that I wanted to keep him close, even when we went bowling. He was so cute that night – cheering for everyone on my team, giving us a thumbs up when we did well and a thumbs down when we didn’t.
I have so many happy memories of our times together – I am trying to just think of those and remember the love. The sadness kicks in when I start thinking about how we won’t have any more chances to make special memories.
Even after the dementia got bad, up until the very end, he would smile every time he saw me – tonight, I am missing his smile.